Rhino poaching debate – endangered wildlife searching its ally tourism

Published on : Saturday, April 19, 2014

RhinoLast week’s international conference on the risks of legalizing trade in rhino horn, held in Pretoria, illustrated both the international concern at the South African government’s plans to lobby CITES to lift the ban on the trade in horn and the weaknesses in these proposals.

The conference touched Tourism’s role in combating the scourge of rhino and elephant poaching briefly but did not emphasize the importance of that role enough.

It also touched on the incredible value that wild rhino have in attracting international tourists to African destinations like Kenya, Tanzania and, indeed, South Africa.

The rhino has always been used to help market the continent to the global travel community for decades, and yet the tourism industry has been slow to take a stance on or even engage with the South African government on their plans for a legal trade and the serious threats it places on remaining populations of wild rhino both in Africa and in Asia.

The tourism industry is one of the rhino’s most valuable allies, and now it’s time for the in industry to apply itself decisively to doing the right thing to save an entire species.


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